BMW earlier this year unveiled the thoroughly updated 2024 X5, and there’s an armored version as well.
Making its public debut at the 2023 Munich auto show, the BMW X5 Protection VR6 is an updated version of the armored that first appeared in 2019 and has since become the bestselling vehicle of its kind, according to BMW.
The X5 Protection VR6 looks like a standard X5, but features integrated armor made from high-strength steel in the body shell, doors, and roof. BMW also added an armored partition between the cabin and cargo area, an aluminum under-body splinter guard, and a self-sealing fuel tank. Additional underbody and roof armor, along with flashing lights and flag poles, are available as options.
Thicker glass is also part of the armoring process, but BMW said it preserved conveniences like power windows and a heated windshield. An M leather steering wheel, four-zone climate control, and sport seats are standard, with optional leather upholstery. The Protection VR6 also features the same infotainment display as other X5 models, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen under a single piece of glass.
The Protection VR6 uses the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 from the X5 M60i xDrive. Despite the armored vehicle’s additional weight, output is unchanged at 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. As in the non-armored version, a mild-hybrid system is able to provide a temporary 12-hp boost. BMW estimates a 5.9-second 0-62 mph time, while the top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
Adaptive M Suspension, M Sport differential, rear-axle steering, and active roll stabilization are standard, with chassis tuning specific to the Protection VR6, according to BMW.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2024. Production will take place alongside the standard X5 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. While specialty companies like Inkas will upfit BMW models with armor, the automaker remains committed to building armored vehicles itself. Alongside the X5 Protection VR6, factory-armored versions of the 7-Series and i7 will also debut in Munich.
- 2025 Mini Countryman grows in size, adds electric power
- Review: 2023 BMW XM misses the ultra-luxury bull’s eye
- 2024 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet tests hybrid powertrain
- Alfa Romeo reveals modern 33 Stradale with gas and EV power
- Toyota tipped to debut Century SUV on Sept. 6